What The Israeli Election Means For US
By MICHAEL FALCONE
- THE OFFICIAL LINE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE is that President Obama will work with whoever wins the Israeli election, but as ABC's JON KARL noted on "Good Morning America," tensions between the United States and Israel have never been higher than right now and the White House "would love to have a new start with a new Israeli prime minister." WATCH: http://abcn.ws/1GQxwfK
- ANALYSIS - ABC's RICK KLEIN: Israel takes center stage in American politics Tuesday, for the second time in as many weeks. The man reprising his starring role is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose last-ditch effort to hold on to hard-line voters is starting to make House Speaker John Boehner's job look easy. A Netanyahu defeat would ripple across the American and world landscape. He spoke before the United States Congress to shore up his political standing, gambling that a strong stand against Iran - even if that involves some positioning against the US president - would usher in a late rally to his side. That appears not to have been the case, and there will be consequences either way. A re-elected Netanyahu would strengthen him politically, amid a historically strained relationship with the US, on the eve of the Iran nuclear deadline. A defeat would scramble Israeli politics at the same tenuous time - and send a strong message about the efficacy of campaigning for office while posting up against other world leaders. One can only wonder how the Iranians would view Bibi going bust.
- ON O'BAMA'S AGENDA: President Obama welcomes Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the White House to celebrate St Patricks Day. After an Oval Office meeting in the morning, O'Bama, Kenny and Biden attend a luncheon at the Capitol, ABC's MARY BRUCE notes. In the evening, there is a reception at the White House.
with ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
WHY THE SENATE HAS TAKEN OVER FOUR MONTHS TO CONFIRM NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL. It's been four months and eight days since President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to replace current Attorney General Eric Holder, but the Senate has yet to confirm her to the post as hurdle after hurdle has emerged in her confirmation battle. It's a combination of unexpected factors - from immigration to human trafficking - that have put a wrinkle in Lynch's nomination process. In November, Senate Democrats agreed not to process Lynch's nomination, which was announced within a week of the midterm elections, until Senate Republicans took control in January. Once the New Year came and Republicans were in the majority, the Senate Judiciary Committee held Lynch's confirmation hearing, but Republicans quickly used Lynch's confirmation as a tool to try to fight President Obama's executive actions on immigration, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ reports. http://abcn.ws/1FqFDRy
MITT ROMNEY TO FIGHT EVANDER HOLYFIELD IN CHARITY BOUT (YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT). He's not going to run for president for a third time, but Mitt Romney is still in for a bruising fight - but this time it could actually hurt. The former GOP presidential nominee is set to box former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. The bout is scheduled for May and the two will get in the ring to raise money for charity, an aide to Romney confirms to ABC News. The Salt Lake City Tribune first reported the news of the fight and in an interview, Romney told them: "It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious." "It won't be much of a fight. We'll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit," Romney said. The match, scheduled for May 15, is part of a several-bout evening in Salt Lake City to raise money for Charity Vision, a group the Romney family has been active with, according to ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE. http://abcn.ws/1MG4XW7
HILLARY CLINTON MAKES NO MENTION OF E-MAILS AT FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE SINCE PRESS CONFERENCE. Hillary Clinton was back to her regular scheduled programming Monday, making no mention of the email controversy surrounding her during an appearance at the Irish America Hall of Fame luncheon yesterday afternoon in New York City. The event - where Clinton was one of the honorees - was Clinton's first public appearance since her press conference last week. Clinton is not Irish, but was chosen for the Hall of Fame because of her "role in helping to broker the Good Friday Agreement" as First Lady, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ notes. She weaved in remarks about her granddaughter, Charlotte, into the speech, saying, "When I look at Charlotte, I am reminded that she will have many opportunities…but I would like that for every child, not just in the United States and Ireland, but for every child everywhere."
BRISTOL PALIN'S ENGAGEMENT TO DAKOTA MEYER: 5 THINGS ABOUT PALIN'S FIANCE. Bristol Palin, the daughter of 2008 Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, had big news last weekend: She's engaged to Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer. Palin, 24, described her kind of man on her blog in December: "He smells like wood. Loves being out in nature. Wears a full beard, leather boots, denim, plaid - and of course, flannel." ABC's VERONICA STRACQUALURSI highlights a few things to know about Palin's soon-to-be hubby including that he once shared White House brewed honey ale with the president. http://abcn.ws/1MG9MwE
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN TED CRUZ TOLD A 3 YEAR OLD GIRL THE 'WORLD'S ON FIRE. ' Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, came face to face with one of his littlest questioners yet in New Hampshire when he had to explain to a three year old girl that the "world's on fire." "The Obama economy is a disaster. Obamacare is a train wreck, and the Obama Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind. The whole world's on fire," Cruz said at an event in Barrington, New Hampshire on Sunday. That's when a little girl, who the Concord Monitor identified as three-year-old Julie Trant, interrupted the senator's speech with a voice full of astonishment. "The world's on fire?" Trant said. Her interjection drew laughter from the crowd, and Cruz repeated his claim - but offered assurances to the young girl that her mother and others are working to make the world safe, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ notes. "The world's on fire. Yes. Your world's on fire," he said to more laughter. "But you know what your mommy's here and everyone's here to make sure that the world you grow up in is even better." WATCH: http://abcn.ws/18Tojru
IN THE NOTE'S INBOX
AMERICAN BRIDGE RELEASES AD ON JEB BUSH'S 'E-MAIL HYPOCRISY'. Democratic super PAC American Bridge is releasing a new web ad today, which will run in Washington, DC and Florida, highlighting what the group is calling, "Jeb Bush's private email hypocrisy. It coincides with Florida's Sunshine Week and sums up the past few days of the governor's hypocritical headlines - criticizing Sec. Clinton's email practices when his own can't hold up to any scrutiny." WATCH: http://youtu.be/Aydgh0P1gpo
@nationaljournal: Charlie Cook: Jeb Bush's headwinds http://buff.ly/1MH79uv